Complex Series 33 comes in the guise of a long-form mix created by Phillip Wilkerson, and it’s an interesting coincidence that it features various artists who all have participated in the 3 minutes and 33 seconds Project (curated by Le Berger). The 3m33s Project is described as an “organically evolving compilation of drones all the same length.” Drone music has a signature sound that we tend to recognize and can even describe in words, but it also has a subjective “feel” –an immediate and emotional impact that goes beyond any verbal description. It’s this subjective, emotional effect that Complex Series 33 especially captures.
While 3m33s is an assorted compilation of various interpretations of drones, Complex Silence 33 takes a more homogeneous approach, featuring a carefully culled selection of 3m33s drones that are especially suited to the Complex Silence aesthetic. There’s still plenty of variation in sounds and moods presented in this mix (just look at the roster of fourteen artists whose music is included), but the signature sound of the Series is always present–exposing the listener to drones that have an “enigmatic and abstract ambience” and never venturing “too far from beauty, mystery, or wonder.”
What you will hear in this mix are ambient drones ranging from gentle to cacophonous and discordant to harmonious with mysterious layers of stretched-out tones and beautiful washes of sound. Careful listening will also reveal gentle melodies, delicate abstract textures, and ever-so-subtle variations in sound carefully tucked in amongst the droning ambience.
Brian Eno wrote that ambient music “must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention…it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.” Complex Series 33 meets this criterion. It serves well as background music, but it also makes for some intensely absorbing and rewarding listening.